No, it’s not blistering economic times, but who likes blisters anyway?
Not to make light of the situation, but there is still business to be done out there. If you sell a viable product or service, and you love what you do for a living, recessions have the potential to be fun.
It’s a time to step back and define what you’re great at, what needs work and what you should probably no longer be doing. In essence, it’s an opportunity for you to get better at what you do, which is gratifying. And gratification is fun.
So is building your brand. In fact, it practically requires that you have fun. And don’t let the word ‘fun’ mislead you into thinking that this is brand-building is an indulgence. Recessions are not only an imperative time to get your (well-honed) message out there, as you will see in the following posts that follow, investing now will benefit you long-term, also.
Now you may ask, ‘shouldn’t we just be looking to survive?’
That may be true for some, but survival rarely comes from a place of passion. For the passionate, thriving — during any time — is the goal.
And passion is the fuel.
Over the next few weeks we’ll share with you, why — and in some cases how — you must apply that fuel now:
“Losers cut marketing in a recession, and the result is they simply accelerated their loss in market share after the recession.”
— Larry Light, past global CMO of McDonald’s
Of course this is the former CEO of one of the world’s fiercest and most successful marketing machines. Easy for him to say. So how do we apply their advice to the situation of us little guys? We could start by asking ‘Why is McDonald’s successful?’ There are many reasons but let’s boil it down to three basics: research, systems and marketing. They use research to identify trends, then they ask questions and — most importantly — listen to what customers want. Now you and I don’t have the budget to research the way Ronald does, but we do have the internet, and more often than not it’s a very lucrative place to dig for information. And all it takes is an investment in time.
What the big guys do with the information they attain, is they test it. On different people in different geographical regions to see if their latest marketing idea will be accepted. They ask questions, and use the responses to shape their ideas into being even more acceptable. And when they feel certain they have a winner, they plop it into their system and launch it. Sometimes it’s a massive hit (The Justin Timberlake infused ‘i’m loving’ it’ campaign launch). More often than not it’s a success (summer movie collaborations). And
sometimes they flop in many markets, but the moderate successes they do have can turn the product into once-in-a-while promotion (McGriddle and the McDLT).
The result is a business that continues to profit, grow and dominate their category. Worldwide and during any economic condition.
No wonder they’re known as The Golden Arches.